Why Use Talk Therapy?
Millions of people across the globe suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and addiction. These conditions can cause intense suffering for the people who have them and can also bring with them impairment in ability to function on the job and socially. When talk therapy is provided by an expert like me, the improvement for the client can be just as good, if not better in many cases, than with antidepressant medications. Evidenced based talk therapies, like those that I provide, also have the added benefit of reducing the risk of these conditions coming back compared to antidepressant use, which when stopped, can be associated with relapse. Many clients that come to see me have never been told this information. On a regular basis, I meet clients who tell me that all they have ever been offered is medication treatment. That is not good.
Psychiatric medications, if they work, will only work as long as you take them. However, if you meet with someone like myself and learn new skills to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour, these skills can potentially help you across your life time. Also, talk therapy, does not have the long list of uncomfortable potential side effects that antidepressants can have.
As a psychologist, I am not against medications. There are certain circumstances, and certain conditions, that I think medications can be quite helpful for. However, I find that most people who come to see me do not need them. I discuss with patients the pros and cons of the treatment options that we have available to us and I let them decide which options will suit them best. If they decide to use medications, that is ok. They can continue to see me while they get medications from their GP or other provider.
If you seek help for a mental health issue, it is not a sign of weakness any more than seeking help from your GP, your car mechanic, or your accountant is a sign of weakness. Everyone needs help sometimes. It is a sign of intelligence and common sense to treat a mental health issue just as you would seek help from your GP if you broke your leg. Life is too short to be unhappy all the time. For close to the price of one fill up at a gas pump in New Zealand, you can meet with a provider and start down a path to feeling happy and healthy again.
How long will treatment take? That depends on many individual factors which I can discuss with clients before they come to my office. However, I can tell you that I am trained in short term treatment. Many clients report feeling relief after just a couple of sessions. I provide a brief, free, telephone consultation to each client before we schedule a time to meet in person. This gives the client a chance to ask me some questions and to get a feel for what I am like to speak with.
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